Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oh And Forget Sexy.

Forget about sexy. This week Ethan learned the f word.
We had just finished watching Kung Fu Panda 2 when all of a sudden he starts saying it,  dropping the bombs over and over and over.
He must of said it eight times before I could pull myself together enough to say, "Ethan, honey, what are you saying?"
Yep. That was it. Loud and clear.
I guess during writing John T asked him if he knew what the F word was and then proceeded to tell him all about it.
The F word! In kindergarten!
It opened up some conversation for us though.
"Ethan, you can always talk to mommy or daddy about anything you hear at school like that."
"Like what?"
"You know, like curse words, or sex, or whatever."
"Oh OK. Mom?"
"What's sex?"
O Lordy. (Insert slapping forehead here).

My Opus.

I've been thinking lately about my life's opus, or life's work. I feel like for the first time I can start to see where my life may be going in terms of God actually making something out of this lump of clay, something planned and thoughtful, versus randomness.
 I realize this will take some effort on my part as well in terms of listening, responding, not being afraid.
I think I am more ready then I've ever been to trust God with my life, to become more fully the person He created me to be, deep inside my mother's womb. Today I can delve more deeply into the desires He has placed on my heart with the strong expectation that HE WILL BE FAITHFUL to me.
All I know now is that as much as I tried to run as far away from it as I can, teaching runs deep in my bones. My mom was a kindergartener teacher and my dad is still a pastor. My aunt was also a teacher, as was my sister.
I never wanted to be a teacher in a classroom but I have done that. Where I find more of a calling is teaching in my exercise classes, as well as teaching in a more indirect way through my blog, or when I get to share at church.  More than teaching a skill, I love to teach to inspire, to breath life into someone else's life, to give them  encouragement to keep going.
I so enjoy doing this in my exercise classes, where many women feel intimidated and defeated. I also love doing this at church, where spiritually we are all so hungry. I'm moving forward in this area, as I will begin to teach an exercise class at church.  Joining the physical movement my body so craves with the fellowship and companionship of my sisters at church is a desire that has been brewing for a long, long, long time. We start on Saturday the 10th at 4:30 at Hillside, and everybody is welcome. It's free!
I also love inspiration running through my home, in the colors and decor, which is why I am so excited about this remodel.
I've chosen the colors from a few of my favorite things  (enter Julia Robert' sing song voice from the sound of music here):
My bedroom. I love the contrast between the crisp white bedding and the dark bench and curtains. It also allows me to get as funky as I want with the throw pillows. The color on the wall is soothing. Calms my soul.
Funky pillows. Doesn't get much more fun than that!

The first time I saw it I knew I had to have it, even if it meant getting it home all the way from Brazil. My friend painted it, making it extra special to me. Plus, it is a beautiful reminder of my time with my friends and families there. I love having this picture in my home.
Although I love blues and greens, I am also drawn to orange and plan on having pops of this wonderful, happy color throughout.
I love an aged look. We've picked out a floor that looks aged and it's my favorite thing about it. Aged things have a depth and character that remind me growing old can be very beautiful.
So  there it is. The colors, the floor.
I can't wait to have this house transformed. We are going to do the light grey throughout, with the dark grey as an accent in the living room. The colors we'll put on a wall or two in the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms.
The one other item I can't wait to purchase and lay down is a soft, cuddly rug in the living room. I have yet to find it, but thinking about it makes me happy. Rugs are like throw pillows, only gigantic. They are full of texture and color and add so much comfort and personality to a room. Just thinking about them makes me smile!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feeling Sexy?

The remodel is on it's way, we've got the contractor or whoever the heck he is coming over tomorrow night to go over all the details. Yay!!
The remodel inside of me is also well under way, and has been for the last six years or so (umm, no coincidence whatsoever to that being the same age as my first son of course).
I feel like I've had a harder time than most growing up. Being an adult. Taking care of stuff. Like kids. A long time ago Joey and I had a conversation about how he loved being an adult, being able to make his own choices and lead his life. Thinking about being an adult makes me want to go take a nap in the sun in my parents old house, where all the bills are paid and never seen, where I basically have no responsibility whatsoever.
It's this kind of stuff I'm ripping up in me. Or God, or us together, or whatever. It's getting torn up.
I don't know if I'll ever love my autonomy (what's ironic about this is that I have a deep aversion to people telling me what to do, or even suggesting  that I do something other than what I would like to do. Therapist? Anyone?) but my goal here is to not be afraid of it. To embrace it. Squeeze the goodness out of leading my own life, making my own choices- and gasp! living with the consequences.
I'm not really who I thought I would be. I always felt most at home being spontaneous, care free, and at times cavalier.  The thing is having a family, and maybe more so a house so upside down it makes me dizzy living in it, does not jive with being foot loose and fancy free.
Kids, and maybe my boys in particular, are absolute crazy loo loos if not kept on a very tight schedule.  Having to stay on a tight schedule so that our family can function (a long time ago, before we figured this out, Joey and I had this conversation: Why can't our family function? We aren't functioning! And it was true. Everyday was like an atomic bomb that we spent picking up the pieces) does not coincide with doing anything spur of the moment.
Well, maybe that's not all true. I can take the kids to the park spur of the moment, as long as it's in between meal times and nap times and poop times...OK, so really I just proved my point. Life with kids, my kids, is not spur of the moment, it's scheduled. End of story.
So there's something here that isn't right, that needs to be ripped out or re-done or something because it grates on me. 
I think it boils down to how do I learn to love, to give up my desires, without becoming an embittered, selfless martyr?
On a lighter note, Noah loves Adele. Why this is so amazing is that for the most part, Noah doesn't like music. He's always telling me to "STOP SINGING!" in the car and, "Turn dat radio off mom!"but this afternoon, listening to Adele belt out one of her slower, strong rhapsodies, he was joining along. He even had his fist in the air as he held on to the last notes.
And then Ethan was singing, "I'm sexy and I know it" when he asked me, "Mom, what is sexy?"
I told him it was being comfortable with yourself, which I thought was genius. When I told Joey, however, he was less than thrilled with my explanation: "What if he starts to use that word in his vocabulary? Like what if he's at Grammie's, and he says that?"
So, just so you all know, if Ethan starts using the word "sexy" all he's saying is that he is comfortable with himself.
I hope we are all feeling sexy tonight.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Remodeling Faith.

We've dubbed 2012 the Year of Remodel.
It's two fold-we are remodeling the house with new floors, paint, a couple pieces of furniture AND there is a remodel going on in my little soul, a whole demolition party thing that who knows what is going to be the outcome of. I just have faith it will be better than what is there now.
I've always had a bent toward all my "home projects" going swiftly to hell.
Take for example the time I decided to paint every wall in my room dark navy/black blue, like the night sky at two o'clock in the morning in a city with no stars. THAT was awesome. It was like living in a deep, dark cave.
Or the time I was seven months pregnant so I rallied my then oh-so-trusting husband and his dear sisters to paint my ENTIRE apartment mustard yellow. The first time I walked in I realized something was off, something was entirely wrong and I would never be able to live with it. (Maybe it was the yellow up against the hot-dog brown cupboards? Made me feel like I was living  in a giant hot dog bun). Because I didn't have the option of re-painting and asking them to repaint would just look bad, I decided to add a contrasting color: Mighty Ducks green!
Thankfully we only had to live in what I can only assume looks like the Packer's locker room for about a week before we were smoked out by our downstairs neighbor.
She and her nasty habit were a wonderful excuse to leave my embarrassing mistake far, far behind.
Our current home was already painted a kind of nice three-tone brown, which I've tolerated relatively well our five years here, only if you look at the darkest color long enough you realize it is the exact color of dog diarrhea.
I've also learned to go easy on painting the walls that were  still white, like the boys' bedroom. I'm always one to take a risk, but I've learned to be a little cautious-painting the boys dresser a dark, amazing red was a hit, and actually turned out well. Had I decided, however, to put the same color on all four of the walls it would have made me wanted to shoot myself.
Thinking about all of this actually makes me realize I've come a long way. Both the boys bedrooms I am 90% happy with the color of the walls, and I really love the color Joey and I recently painted our bedroom and bathroom. It's a perfectly soothing light blueish green that is as neutral as white, only prettier. And more calming.
All this to say we are planning on re-painting the entire house, except our bedroom, and putting in new flooring. And I'm pretty much scared shitless.
Or at least I think I should be. Because it's already started: I have an amazing picture in my mind of what I want.  It's edgy and fun and unique, what I've now learned to associate with risky. My husband -who after seeing me destroy furniture and walls and who knows what else in all my attempts- has BANNED me from doing hardly anything project wise and has been very effective in communicating with me that on this project we will not be able to re-do the flooring. We will have to live with it. No Mrs. Jones lives downstairs to smoke us out.
So much has changed though. I recently wanted to mosaic two new end tables that we got. I spent a ton of money on little pieces of beads and glass and special glue and grout. Then I picked out six of my most precious black and white pictures, and decided to put them under the glass beads. The whole project would have been amazing, except as I was doing it I just had this feeling I should stop. I should save at least the three pictures I had not covered in glue and beads, and just stop.
I passed my hands over the beads I had spent three evenings gluing down and two popped off. It was a sign.
SO, I spent the next three nights scraping off the beads I had just glued on. I had to throw away three pictures, but I salvaged the ones I didn't have the ability to reproduce, thank goodness (Noah's four day old infant picture by Fawn).
And I was OK.  In the past this would have killed me. I would have been discouraged and frustrated, and felt like a failure. And though I feel those things a little bit, I'm just thankful I stopped in time and I'm still hopeful I'll be able to do something funky and that I'll love with the beads and grout. A year ago I probably wouldn't have stopped. I would have just kept plowing through, because stopping would prove I was wrong, and that my idea failed. Continuing on, acting like everything was fine, was just easier than dealing with admitting that my idea didn't work out so hot.
I am a creative person. I get inspired and excited about decorating, writing, getting dressed. And just because I've had some things, or even most things, completely bomb, I'm trying to not be afraid to hold on to my initial spark of excitement about an idea, whether it be a paint combo, or writing topic, or even what I am planning to do on a very normal day.
The process is going to be messy, but as long as I am not afraid to try, to stop, and to try again, faith tells me in the end, there will be a home that my heart can feel at rest.